boogiecousins94

2+ Year Member
May 16, 2017
883
1,044
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Medical Student (Accepted)
I volunteer at a hospice and see the same 3 people every week. They all have Alzheimer's etc. so sometimes they don't remember me but I sit with them and talk for a couple of hours every Sunday. This weekend I went and one of the patients wasn't there. I visit an assisted living facility where only a couple of hospice patients live, the rest are just elderly individuals not on hospice services. Sometimes they are not around if their families come to visit etc. so I didn't think anything of it. Today I found out that the one patient I see often passed away over the weekend. It's sad because they seemed okay the last time I saw them but still surreal in that when I go they won't be there and I can't talk with them anymore. I know I'm not family or anything but it's still strange to think about and I did enjoy my time with them when I visited.

I know this just happened but it truly made me think about stuff and put things into perspective. Is it wrong if I were to write about this for a secondary prompt since it happened so soon? Please let me know your thoughts, I don't want to come off the wrong way or seem like I'm making a big deal of this. I know this was expected volunteering for hospice but idk I didn't think it would happen so soon and it seems different as I feel like my visits helped them and now I can't visit anymore. If anything I feel privileged that I was able to be a friendly visitor to them in their last days of life

Thank you for any advice
 

DV-T

2+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2015
1,422
2,173
Status
Medical Student
I don't see anything wrong with speaking about this experience in a secondary. Relate it to what you learned from the experience and how it will make you a more compassionate and kind doctor to your future patients. Make sure you focus on what you gained from the experience and limit patient identifying information so as protect their privacy.
 
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Doctor-S

Grand Rounds
Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2016
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I volunteer at a hospice and see the same 3 people every week. They all have Alzheimer's etc. so sometimes they don't remember me but I sit with them and talk for a couple of hours every Sunday. This weekend I went and one of the patients wasn't there. I visit an assisted living facility where only a couple of hospice patients live, the rest are just elderly individuals not on hospice services. Sometimes they are not around if their families come to visit etc. so I didn't think anything of it. Today I found out that the one patient I see often passed away over the weekend. It's sad because they seemed okay the last time I saw them but still surreal in that when I go they won't be there and I can't talk with them anymore. I know I'm not family or anything but it's still strange to think about and I did enjoy my time with them when I visited.

I know this just happened but it truly made me think about stuff and put things into perspective. Is it wrong if I were to write about this for a secondary prompt since it happened so soon? Please let me know your thoughts, I don't want to come off the wrong way or seem like I'm making a big deal of this. I know this was expected volunteering for hospice but idk I didn't think it would happen so soon and it seems different as I feel like my visits helped them and now I can't visit anymore. If anything I feel privileged that I was able to be a friendly visitor to them in their last days of life

Thank you for any advice
In general, the practice of medicine is about diagnosing and treating; caring for and curing people.

Hospice work is equally vital: you are providing care, companionship and comfort to terminally ill people, with kindness, compassion, respect and dignity (knowing these individuals will not be cured despite the practice of medicine).

If you ultimately choose to discuss your hospice experience in a secondary, it will be fine.
 
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